Worcester Teen Sexting Defense Lawyers
Legal Counsel in Massachusetts
Sexting is defined as the sending of an explicit or pornographic photo or video through an electronic device, such as a cell phone. At Murphy & Rudolf, LLP, we defend clients facing charges of teen sexting. With aggressive representation and knowledgeable legal advice, our Worcester criminal defense attorneys can walk you through the legal process.
Call today at (508) 744-3038 for a free consultation.
Massachusetts Laws Regarding Teen Sexting
While some states across the nation have put laws into place specifically targeting teen sexting, the state of Massachusetts has not. This means that sexting often falls legally under child pornography laws. These laws are normally used to punish adults harshly who solicit suggestive photographs from underage people, but in cases of teen-to-teen sexting, the sharing of these photographs can result in severe penalties.
In Massachusetts, child pornography includes:
- Possessing a sexually explicit photo or video of a person under the age of 18
Distributing a sexually explicit photo or video of a person under the age of 18
- Enticing or coercing a person under the age of 18 to take suggestive photos or videos
Under these guidelines, teen sexting would qualify as child pornography in the state of Massachusetts, no matter the age of the recipient. Because a minor is considered to be legally unable to give consent for such photographs, whether they wanted these photographs to go to the recipient does not matter. The Worcester criminal defense attorneys at Murphy & Rudolf, LLP can investigate the incident and work hard to build a solid case.
Federal Law Regarding Sexting
Depending on the specific circumstances, sexting may also be considered a crime under federal law. The PROTECT Act of 2003, or the Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today Act, states that it is illegal for any person to receive, possess, create, or distribute images or other visual material containing a minor in a sexually explicit or suggestive pose. Not only could the senders and receivers of such images find themselves facing criminal charges, but the parents of the minor may also face charges.
Prosecution of Teen Sexting
The trend of teen sexting has been on the rise in recent years, with 20% of teens admitting to sending nude or suggestive photographs using their cell phones or other electronic devices. This means that one in every five teenagers has sent an explicit photo to another individual, typically another teen. Teen sexting also creates a complicated situation in terms of prosecution, as many people agree that teens should not face the serious punishments that come along with child pornography charges due to a lapse in judgment caused by immaturity.
Due to many of these text messages being sent from peer to peer rather than from a minor to an adult, prosecutors across the state of Massachusetts have struggled with determining whether teen sexting should be a criminal issue or a domestic issue that should be taken care of in the home or at school. Child pornography convictions in Massachusetts carry heavy fines and prison sentences, so it is important to get legal assistance immediately. The Worcester criminal defense lawyers at Murphy & Rudolf, LLP can seek to protect you or your teen’s rights and provide tenacious defense in court.
Request a FREE Consultation or Call (508) 744-3038.
We are devoted to effective trial lawyering. We know how to deliver aggressive defense strategies and we know how to speak to juries and judges alike.